J.R. Henry Bought Land In 1908

John Robert Henry, born 1858 in North Carolina , came to Colorado City , Texas , in January, 1883. In the spring he rode horseback to Wheeler County where his first job was hauling rock to build a wall around a livery stable east of Huselby Hotel. He helped build Red Deer Dam and worked on several ranches, including the Diamond F and the Z-Z. In 1889 he bought sheep and went in business for himself near Laketon.

Photo of Eloise Lane

Eloise Lane

Mary Walter Brown, daughter of A.J. Jasper, was a widow with a small daughter, Gertrude LaNora Brown. In 1889 she came from Tarrant County to the Laketon area with her father and two brothers because she thought that the men must have someone to keep house for them.

At first Mary, a former teacher, hated the cowboys and did not hesitate to say so. A friend bet her gray horse that Mary would marry one of the cowboys within a year. Mary won the horse but she soon married John Henry on April 9, 1890.

When Mary was asked how she happened to break down and marry John Henry, she answered, “Oh, I don’t know. He was the wittiest piece of humanity I ever met. I watched his best friends and decided that no better people ever lived than the early settlers.”

After the Henrys lived near the Laketon area for several years, they moved, house and all, to Miami where John helped to organize the First State Bank of Miami. They moved back to the Laketon area, rebuilt, and then moved to McLean before coming to Pampa in 1909.

When Gray County was organized in 1902, the Henrys were living in the Laketon area. J.R. Henry was the election judge and his home was the voting place for Precinct 1. Mary helped to organize the first Baptist church and Sunday school in the county while the Henrys lived at Laketon.

In 1908 Henry bought part of Section 78, Block 3, I&GN Survey from the White Deer Land Company. (In 1935 he sold this land to the City of Pampa for Recreation Park). In addition to farming his land, Henry was a director and vice-president of the First National Bank in Pampa .

The Henrys lived in a large three-story house built on their farm. Later the city limits were extended to include the house that had the address 905 (or 911) East Beryl.

On January 20, 1942, a fire started in a bedroom on the second floor of the house, and the entire third floor, part of the second floor and the roof were destroyed before firemen could get the blaze under control. The fire did not reach the first floor, but there was water damage.

After the fire the J.R. Henrys moved to 121 North Wynne where he died on December 1, 1943, and she died on January 17, 1946.

Mrs. Henry had wanted the property at 905 East Beryl to be used in some way in the work of local Baptists, and it was sold to the Reverend E.G. Barrett who hoped to establish a Baptist orphanage. After it was determined that an orphanage was not possible, the Rev. Barrett gave the house and land to the First Baptist Church whose membership funded the Barrett Baptist Chapel. The first afternoon services were held on April 4, 1954, in the former home of J.R. and Mary Henry.

Gertrude LaNora Brown, daughter of Mary Henry, married Lawrence C. McMurtry (an uncle of author Larry McMurtry). Gertrude was one of Pampa ‘s first dance teachers and owned the first studio in Pampa .

Clinton Henry, son of J.R. and Mary Henry, married Fannie Fern Pope, daughter of Dave Pope and Mary Olive White. Clinton was bookkeeper and assistant manager of the J A Ranch when T.D. Hobart was manager. Later Clinton ranched near Red Deer Creek.

Jack Henry was an orphan reared by J.R. and Mary Henry and regarded as their son.

Over 200 Articles, written by Eloise Lane, were published in the Pampa News. These articles may be accessed by clicking on each section below. A list of articles will be revealed that are linked to a page containing the text of the article.

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